By Albert Mansour
This album starts out with some real catchy tracks in “Still Unbroken,” “Simple Life,” ”Little Thing Called You” and “Southern Ways.” Trying to go back to their original roots, God & Guns has something interesting content. For example, “Southern Ways” sounds to these ears like a real spin off of “Sweet Home Alabama.” It has the same riffs and rhythm. That is the best track out of this twelve song album, Skynyrd’s first new offering in six years. I was not previously familiar with the newer work of Skynyrd. Still, the vocals and guitars are top notch, pulling no punches, although after the sixth track the record becomes extremely boring to listen to. There are an awful lot of plain songs, really these are B-side tracks which don’t serve the album well at all. There could have been some juicy solos here and there to show another side of the band, as the arrangements do tend to drag on and on, sometimes even too much. It also feels as if the last tracks are all last minute filler. My main problem with God & Guns is its lack of focus. It’s all over the place, almost a series of slow songs sketches loosely tied together rather than a classic 70’s-style Skynyrd southern rock album. I’m admittedly skeptical of anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd since that terrible Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 record, but getting back to this one I would only recommend it to diehard Skynyrd fanatics or Johnny Van Zant Band fans. An okay release compared to some of their poor albums over the years, but overall Gods & Guns is pretty uneven deal. For the real stuff, I suggest you go back to their classic material like Street Survivors and Second Helping instead.